This page is your source for everything dealing with separation and divorce in Nevada. You can locate experienced divorce lawyers, access divorce forms and online divorce services, use the child support online calculator and guidelines, and review the state divorce laws. You can also find information about the co-parenting educational classes, or search for local support groups, access information on domestic abuse services, and more.
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Seminar Providers for Separating Parents
Separating parents in Nevada may be required by the court to attend a parenting seminar within 45 days after the initial petition is served. Even though other providers may claim they are court certified, only certificates of completion from the three service providers below will be accepted by the court:
Divorced & Widowed Adjustment Inc. - This is a FREE bi-weekly support meeting for men and women in the Las Vegas, NV area dealing with the issues of separation and divorce. 24-Hr. Find out more about the various groups by calling 702-735-5544.
You can also look up more groups offering divorce support. Not only are there meetings sponsored by Divorce Care, there are groups for children affected by divorce and other types of support services.
NV Coalition to End Domestic Violence - Domestic abuse hotlines, resources, housing and support
Today, there are three grounds for divorce in the state of Nevada:
Personal incompatibility and living apart for a year or longer are considered “no-fault” grounds for divorce, meaning no proof is required. If insanity is claimed, this is considered “fault” grounds, and the filing spouse must provide the judge with corroborative evidence of the insanity at the time the divorce is filed.
Before the court will consider the allegation of insanity, it must be shown that the underlying pathological condition existed for two years prior to the filing of the divorce.
Although adultery remains a criminal offense in 21 states (although rarely prosecuted) Nevada is not among those states. In fact, Nevada courts are not allowed to consider the misconduct of either spouse during the marriage when awarding alimony or making a decision regarding custody and visitation — unless the relationship of the unfaithful spouse has had a negative effect on the children.
Nevada requires at least one of the spouses to have resided in the state for at least six weeks before a divorce can be filed. For the residency requirement, the courts could require proof of residency in the form of a driver’s license or other state-issued ID. Alternatively, an affidavit from an employer or other person with established residency could be obtained, vouching for the residency.
In the state of Nevada, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on every single issue related to the divorce. As you might expect, an uncontested divorce is relatively rare. If a couple disagrees on even one issue, then the divorce is contested. In an uncontested divorce, one spouse can file a complaint for divorce, then stipulate to the decree of divorce. It is also possible to file a Joint Petition with your spouse, although doing so without benefit of a Nevada divorce attorney can result in mistakes that are difficult to overcome.
When one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce, the filing spouse must have the other spouse served with the divorce papers. Once served, the other spouse has 20 days to reply with an Answer to the Complaint. If the other spouse fails to respond, the divorce and everything the filing spouse has asked for could be granted. If your divorce is complex, particularly the financial issues, then even an uncontested divorce may take more time.
Contested Nevada divorces will almost always take more time than uncontested divorces. While a contested divorce is usually perceived as contentious, it may not necessarily be so. A contested divorce, on its face, simply means the parties must settle very important issues prior to the divorce being granted. There must be agreement on the division of marital assets, child support, child custody and alimony, which usually means stretching out the time the divorce takes as well as spending more money on the divorce. A contested divorce is filed and responded to in the same way as an uncontested divorce.
Nevada also has what is known as a summary divorce, which is, essentially, a streamlined process. A summary divorce may be used when:
Although most states in the U.S. have gone to the equitable distribution model of asset division, Nevada is one of nine states which still operate under community property law. Under community property laws, all income earned, and property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is deemed community property. This means it belongs to both spouses equally, therefore must be split exactly down the middle during a Nevada divorce. Like assets, all debts incurred during the marriage will also be split 50/50.
Unfortunately, community property laws do not always take certain issues into consideration when dividing assets during a divorce. Perhaps one spouse worked at a high-paying job, while the other did not work at all—even so, the assets will be split 50/50.
Before assets can be divided in any manner, marital property must be distinguished from non-marital property. Separate property is that which was brought into the marriage (owned prior to the marriage). Separate property can also include property acquired during the marriage in the form of a gift, an inheritance, or a personal injury settlement. Profit or rent received from separate property also remains that spouse’s separate property.
There is one caveat to this: When separate property is commingled in any way with marital property, it can become marital property. As an example, if one spouse received an inheritance of $50,000 prior to the marriage, then places that money in a joint account with his or her new spouse, the inheritance becomes marital property.
In some instances, even when an asset is deemed separate, the court could potentially set it aside to cover alimony, child support or a community debt. Barring unusual circumstances, real property, such as the family home, personal property and intangible property (income, dividends, retirement, and benefits) are divided under community property law during the divorce. Liabilities and debts are also divided or assigned to one spouse or the other.
Although the starting point is equal division of assets and liabilities, the court can shift the property rights from one spouse to the other, based on the unique circumstances of the marriage. As an example, one spouse could receive more community property if he or she has custody of the children and fewer financial resources due to staying home as a caregiver to the children and being a homemaker during the marriage.
Fault in the marriage, however, will rarely increase one partner’s share of community property. As an example, if one spouse had an affair or otherwise caused the marriage to fail, this would have little bearing on the division of assets unless there was clear dissipation of marital assets.
If the divorce is likely to make it difficult for one spouse to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, then that spouse could be entitled to alimony. Alimony is not intended to be punitive, therefore fault in the marriage is not a consideration. The spouse who is ordered to pay alimony typically earns more money and is better off financially than the spouse receiving alimony. In some cases, a court orders alimony to be paid in one lump sum, but more often, alimony is paid in monthly payments.
There are four types of alimony in the state of Nevada:
Nevada statutes state that any alimony award must be “just and equitable,” therefore the following will be considered by a Nevada court regarding alimony:
When parents are unable to come to a custody agreement on their own, the court will intervene and make those decisions based on the best interests of the child or children. In Nevada, there are two types of child custody.
While some parents are able to make a true 50/50 custody split work, it is rare. Parents would realistically have to live in close proximity to one another in order to avoid problems with school and after-school activities — and would have to get along well with one another. In some cases, both parents are awarded legal custody so the big decisions regarding the child are shared, while one parent is awarded physical custody, with the other having visitation, whether on weekends or any other schedule the parents agree to.
When both parents share physical custody, it is possible that neither parent will pay child support to the other - although the parent who is better off financially could still be responsible for any “extras” needed by the child. Otherwise, the non-custodial parent is generally responsible for paying child support. The amount of the child support payment will depend on the number of children, the gross monthly income of both parents and the specific custody arrangement. While a formula for determining child support exists, if the court believes the formula amount would be unfair to the child or the receiving parent, the amount can be adjusted.
Child support in Nevada is not meant to punish the higher-earning parent, rather is meant to protect the child’s standard of living in two separate households. The court also has the authority to “impute” income to a parent who is voluntarily unemployed. For example, a parent who chooses not to be employed simply to avoid paying child support could find the court may assign him or her an income that could reasonably be expected, given the parent’s education and job skills, figuring the amount of child support on that amount.
There are limited grounds for a Nevada annulment, including:
To obtain an annulment, you will be required to file a Complaint for Annulment, providing basic information as well as your grounds for the annulment. The complaint must be served to your spouse, who must fill out an Affidavit of Service. Your spouse can respond to the complaint by filing an answer and/or counterclaim.
If an answer is filed by your spouse, the court will schedule a “case management” conference within 90 days. At this conference, the judge will schedule a hearing to determine whether an annulment is appropriate. You and your spouse will both testify at this hearing and either of you can offer evidence to support your case.
If your spouse fails to answer the Complaint for Annulment, you will receive the annulment by default. If the judge denies your request for an annulment, you will have to use divorce as the means of ending your marriage.
Nevada separation and divorce laws don’t distinguish based on sexuality. As such, legally married same-sex couples who meet the residency requirements can file for a divorce in Nevada. Even so, dividing assets - particularly those with a government component, such as pension plans—can be more challenging for same-sex couples.
Online Statutes - Chapter 125 from the Nevada Legislature